Belonging to the genus Allium, garlic is basically used for flavour in various dishes. But, do you know that it can be a friend of yours when it comes to protecting your heart? Yes, you read it right. Garlic can help you get rid of a wide range of diseases and conditions including cardiovascular issues, says a study published in the Journal of Nutrition. Here is how garlic lends a helping hand in preventing and treating heart conditions.

Prevents stroke

Garlic, a wonder plant has medicinal properties. It contains a molecule called ajoene, which prevents blood platelets from accumulating at one place and forming a blood clot, which is known to cause a stroke. For better effects, you should consume raw garlic.

Lowers blood pressure

According to research published in the BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, garlic can reduce your blood pressure. Notably, high BP actually causes strain to your arteries gradually damaging them. This can slowly lead to the accumulation of plaque in the damaged artery making it narrow. This can limit the amount of blood supplying to the heart muscles, leading to a heart attack. Garlic actually works by enhancing the regulation of endothelial nitric oxide, which is known to induce smooth muscle cell relaxation and BP reduction.

Prevents damage due to free radicals

Free radicals are known to cause inflammation in arteries and high blood pressure. As already mentioned, these factors are already associated with increased risk of a heart attack and stroke. In this case, garlic can be a savior. Having antioxidant properties, it can flush out the free radicals and prevents cell damage that may lead to various heart diseases.

Lowers level of blood cholesterol

One of the major reasons behind cardiovascular problems includes high cholesterol levels. And, garlic can help you decrease the level of bad cholesterol in the body and increase the levels of good one, says a study conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Helps in thinning the blood

Having strong anticoagulant properties, garlic acts as a natural blood thinner. This means that consuming it on a regular basis can help you prevent clot formation, which is known to cause various heart conditions like a heart attack and stroke. Garlic also has garlic has natural antibiotic and antimicrobial properties, which are considered good for heart health.